Monday, December 15, 2008

Maybe Joe Gordon Does Belong In The Hall Of Fame

Gordon had 242 career win shares. Through 2001, that was tied for 334th among all players including pitchers. But he did miss two seasons due to the war. He missed 1944 and 1945. The two previous seasons he had 28 and 31 (although the competition in 1943 was not so good). In 1946 he only had 9, must have been hurt. In the next two years he had 25 and 24. Suppose we give him 50 for the two years missed. That brings him up to 292. That would be tied for 187 through 2001. Not too bad of a ranking. Good enough for the Hall? I don't know.

But in general, 2B men have an average wins shares per PA that is lower than other positions. Win Shares is supposed to allow us to compare players across positions. Gordon might deserve even more win shares. Maybe he deserves another 10-20. To see the data on win shares per PA for different positions, go to (Update Jan. 10, 2016: Here is the new, correct link

If we do give him all these extra win shares he gets close to the top 150 through 2001. I really don't know what type of adjustments to make for him, but I guess a good case could be made for him.

One other thing I thought of is that he was a right handed batter in Yankee Stadium. Win Shares uses runs created get offensive value. Runs created are adjusted for park effects but to the extent that I understand them, no adjustemt is made if a park favors lefties over righties. Gordon hit 69 HRs in home games at Yankee stadium and 84 in road games. You would expect more at home. In his Cleveland years, he had 50 both home and away. Perhaps, on balance, over his career, he was hurt by his parks.

I was a little surprised by his, and his only, selection. But it may be okay. Joe McCarthy said Gordon was the best all around player he ever saw.

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